Philippine and U.S. Marines conduct rifle, machine gun drills on first day of annual combined exercise
By Lt. Peter Lee
| U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific | May 07, 2014
CROW VALLEY, Philippines --
Following yesterday’s opening ceremony, Philippine and U.S. Marines commenced this year’s Balikatan exercise with various rifle and machine gun live-fire drills, here, May 6.
More than 300 Marines combined from both nations met at weapon ranges to practice small arms proficiency, conduct combat drills and exchange best practices.
“The basics for any Marine are to shoot, communicate and maneuver,” said Philippine Marine 2nd Lt. Jason Jiminez, 2nd Marine Company, 11th Marine Battalion, who was the co-officer in charge at the rifle range. “Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, we’re building bonds and camaraderie which are essential for being allies. This collaboration is for the future.”
At the small arms range, Filipino and American Marines completed the Combat Marksmanship Program, fired weapons while moving and integrated close-quarter combat techniques during all training events.
“We are fortunate to be here,” said U.S Marine 2nd Lt. Michael Venetti, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, who was the other co-officer in charge at the rifle range. “The two-way training and transitions on the firing line were seamless. This event allowed us to fire our weapons next to each other which will make us better Marines in keeping the peace and being ready for conflict together.”
Over the next 10 days, the combined Marine forces will conduct additional live-fire events with various weapon systems to hone their shooting abilities as well as fire and maneuver techniques.
Balikatan is an annual training exercise that strengthens the interoperability between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. military in their commitment to regional security and stability, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.